2 years ago
AlloBaber
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Grow Your Own Herbs: Cilantro
Cilantro is a popular herb used in many Asian, Mexican, and Indian dishes. It's a green, leafy plant that looks a lot like parsley (in fact, I often have to resort to using my nose to tell the difference between them in the grocery store). Cilantro is high in potassium, while its leafy, fibrous nature makes it good for the digestive system. I happen to love its bright and tangy flavor, but research shows that to some, it smells and tastes like soap. This small minority of people can, however, sometimes overcome their initial aversion.

Growing Your Own Cilantro

Cilantro is a short-term garden plant that doesn't like too much heat. Planting during late spring and early fall works well. It grows best in full sun, in soil with a pH of between 6.2 and 6.8. Cilantro goes to seed rather quickly, so if you want a steady harvest, you should replant every 3-4 weeks, until fall's first frost. The upside to this rapid life cycle is that cilantro often reseeds itself, and pops up again the following spring. Harvest cilantro by cutting leafy stems near ground level, up to one third of the plant at a time. Growing herbs from seed can be tricky, especially for novice gardeners, so I recommend buying small potted herbs from the local grocery store or garden center.

Cooking With Cilantro

The best way to enjoy cilantro is fresh. Drying it or cooking it saps the herb of its delicious flavor. Therefore, you should always add freshly chopped cilantro leaves to a dish right before serving. To kick the flavor up a notch, include a few stems! Combines well with mint, cumin, chives, garlic, and marjoram. Store by freezing in cubes of water or olive oil.
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@galinda That's so interesting!! I feel like my friends who hate it usually hate it all the time, and I know as a cilantro lover I'm pretty much always in the mood. Lol. Do you find that the soap thing is true for you?
@danidee @caricakes Oh it's definitely the best, especially in homemade Mexican food. I feel like I need to get away from that though and start using it in some more Asian-inspired dishes!! Like summer rolls or something.
Yeah! There's a lot of cilantro in Thai food. I'm sure there's a bunch of Asian recipes on here that include cilantro. I know @pipeline added a recipe for red lentil cilantro coconut soup a few months ago that sounded REALLY good: http://www.vingle.net/posts/563653-Red-Lentil-Cilantro-Coconut-Soup
Mmmm!! Oh wow @danidee thanks for passing that along, that looks so delicious! @pipeline I'm definitely clipping for future reference ;) I'll let you know how it comes out!!